Brixton For Any Occasion

Bad hair day, good hair day…feeling chic? Festive?  Sophisticated? Brixton has the hat for you. I’ve worked up a collection I keep in consistent  rotation.  A great Brixton can take an outfit from mundane to maaah-va-lous dahling.  

  I quite like my latest acquisition. Check out the entire collection, choose one or many and rock it/them out!

Summertime Sun Calls For A Fabulous Summer Hat

The beaming summertime sun is on the way, and every year I say I’m going to find the perfect hat.  One which will guard and protect me from those rays, unfortunately responsible for sudden outbreaks of hyper-pigmentation all over my face, if I’m not covered with my 50+ sunscreen.  For those unfamiliar, hyper-pigmentation is a harmless condition, which causes dark patches or freckles on the skin.  Anyway, as I hat hunt each season, either they’re so large I envision passersby dodging me on crowded city sidewalks ( even though there aren’t many of these in Southern California), or they’re far too small to serve as anything more than a fashion statement.  I’m happy to announce (drum roll please), Gladys Tamez has made my quest super easy.

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This style is perfect!  My face is completely covered, and there is nothing obnoxious about the size.  Gladys Tamez is a millinery genius, so thrilled with this beauty!  Treat yourself to a visit to her beautiful studio for your very own treasure.

P.S. Not so sure about this retro filter I used…seems a little odd with the scratched face effect, then again, it’s not about me…focus Donyale, it’s about the fabulous hat!  So be it, a wise person once said, a few imperfections add a bit of je ne sais quoi, lol…seems like a fair trade off to me.  We could all use a smidgeon of je ne sais quoi…

Come On Let’s Get Happy!

Gone are the days of standard, boring socks!  If you pull open your sock drawer just to find yourself staring into a sea of stark, blinding whiteness or an abyss of immeasurable blackness…it’s time to get Happy;).  Donning a pair of Happy Socks is the the perfect prescription.  They’re fun, bold, chock full of personality, designed in Sweden and offer an enormous selection for every man, woman and child in the nation.  Not to mention the fact they feel like cashmere on your feet, enveloping them in plush, irresistible softness.

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Are you smiling yet?  You know you want them, in fact, you’ve got to have them!  Skedaddle (is this a word?) over to Ron Robinson at Fred Segal and stock up…are you still here?  Go…Now people!

The Keys That Keep On Giving

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I decided years ago to give up the notion of setting one more New Year’s resolution…after all, I always seemed to fall off the proverbial wagon, which proved to be quite disconcerting over the years after one failed attempt after another.  Since those days, I’ve decided to set goals instead, which I write down in my journal at the start of each new year.  This has been very successful for me, I find myself crossing off one after another, as the year progresses.  One of my many goals this year?  Giving more… TO OTHERS.  I’m quite the expert at giving to myself, especially since the advent of secure internet shopping, where it takes all of two seconds to make a purchase.  The fact I’m a bona fide clothing, shoe, accessory addict…(oops, I meant aficionado) doesn’t help matters.  Well, I’m happy to announce the tide is changing for me on this front.  On a recent shopping excursion, I happened upon a miniature little tree hanging out on a counter at Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue here in Los Angeles.  Draped on each branch were necklaces with keys dangling from them, I was intrigued, each was stamped with a powerful, inspirational word.

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I quickly learned the keys are called The Giving Keys, and the story behind the inception all began with a New York hotel key.  Although I don’t remember the last time I actually saw a hotel key, thankfully Caitlin Crosby, founder of The Giving Keys can’t say the same.  As she wore her hotel key around her neck, she was inspired with the idea to collect a bundle of vintage keys, stamp an edifying word on each and transform them into necklaces.  However, she didn’t stop there, she came up with the brilliant idea to employ the homeless in her efforts to spread a little love.  What began as a noble idea has turned into a full-fledged business which allows the masses to pay it forward.  I have a heart for the homeless after volunteering at the Los Angeles Mission for a while, and I absolutely love this idea.  Much of my other jewelry no longer sees the light of day since my Giving Key purchases.   One is stamped with “faith” the other “believe,” two of my favourite words in the English language.  How apropos for me to happen upon these Giving Keys after setting a goal to be more of a giver…I’d be remiss to ignore such clear confirmation.

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Check out The Giving Keys site here  where you’ll read some of the most inspiring stories, see more of the collection and pay it forward if you choose to support such an amazing cause.

Native Union Pop Bluetooth Retro Handset

Most everyone who knows me, knows I’m “old school” in many ways… movie night for me could very well include an Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis or Alfred Hitchhock classic (thanx Mother).  Or maybe an evening with Sly & The Family Stone, Queen or Earth, Wind & Fire emitting from the vintage turntable (thanx Dad).  Suffice it to add, when I learned about the Native Union Pop Bluetooth I could hardly wait to get my hands on one.

Aside from the retro look reminiscent of days when life was oh so good, this handy little gadget eliminates up to 96% of radiation compared to direct use of a mobile phone, the audio is crystal clear and you are free to navigate your device while chatting away.  The handset was designed by David Turpin, and inspired by the classic 1950’s Bakelite phone, it has a great feel with a soft, rubberized texture .  Also, no annoying cord attachments with Bluetooth technology, although there is an older plug-in version.  I must admit, I was a bit amused by the mere thought of rocking this accessory in the beginning, however, I use it consistently…

while catching up on the latest with those I love.

Grab one for yourself or get a head start on your Christmas stocking stuffers, visit Native Union or Ron Robinson at Fred Segal

Photography: Sheena Brown

Classic Specs, Serving Up Panache, With Stylish Frames

Remember the old cliche? “Guys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses,” or how frames meant acquiring the unwanted moniker of ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’?  Clearly, this is no longer the case, apparently it is cool to be a nerd these days, hence the new hip label, ‘Geek Chic.’  Glasses have become quite the fashion accessory, and there are sites sprouting up by the day, offering them at the most reasonable prices ever imagined.  Although, I’ve ordered from many of these sites, my personal favourite is Classic Specs with a showroom based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The website is easy to maneuver through, the frames are durable (handmade using premium acetate and reinforced hinges) and the customer service is excellent.  Many wonder “How can frames be ordered online?  I’d have to try them on to know whether I like them.”  Classic Specs factored this in and makes it super simple, upload a photo and use the virtual try-on feature to see how your frame choice(s) will look, this has been fool-proof for me, as the frames look very similar in person.  Next, when you fall in love with the ideal frame, fax your prescription over or request to have someone from the Classic Specs team call your optometrist for it.

The frames are $89 for everything, which includes polycarbonate prescription lenses (high index lenses are an additional $20 per pair), anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings and free shipping both ways in the event they don’t work out as planned.  They also cover any adjustments your new frames may require, and if there is a charge, they will gladly reimburse you.  If this isn’t enough, each frame comes with a one year warranty from defects, and if they are accidentally broken, just send them back and receive a fresh pair for $25.

I’m on my second pair, added to the many overpriced styles I acquired long before discovering Classic Specs, and eagerly awaiting new styles so I can continue to build my collection.  Another amazing perk is they gladly replace the lenses in your old frames, with each new pair ordered from them, for a mere $47.  I jumped on this, and so happy I did, a couple pairs of my old frames are like new again.

Lastly, but certainly not least, 6% of the proceeds for every frame purchased from Classic Specs is donated to New Eyes For The Needy, a brilliant program which assists children, the working poor and the elderly within the United States.  This is surely my favourite part of all, with clear vision, children are able to effectively learn in school, adults are able to embark on employment opportunities and the elderly are able to coexist safely.  Please check out the New Eyes For The Needy site, there is so much great information you may want to pass on to someone in need.

When I first discovered Classic Specs a little less than one year ago in a Vogue article, this all seemed way too good to be true, now I know better, I just wished I’d discovered them sooner.

To browse the many different frames styles, visit Classic Specs on the web or in person, at 85 North 3rd Street Suite 112 Brooklyn, New York 11249

Photos Courtesy of Classic Specs